In India and everywhere, ownership of land and cattle are the fuel for prosperity and progress. A community that cultivates an agricultural lifestyle and cherishes its cattle is a happy and wealthy community. Before big industry took hold centuries ago, India was arguably the richest nation in the world, and many believe it was due to the focus on cow protection and agriculture. When big industry moved in, people left their simple, peaceful village lives and moved to the cities to work in factories. They often ended up living in slums, and factory owners became wealthy at their expense. When the factories shut down, the people were desperately stuck.
The West has developed big industries to produce everything on a large scale. One industry can kill the employment of thousands of people who produce sophisticated handmade things. Industrialization destroyed village cottage industry in India, which destroyed the core of the economy. A few benefited but most descended into dire poverty. However, there was industrial production at the grassroots level that thrived successfully. Some of the smaller industries in India include making handicrafts, weaving clothes, goldsmithing, and blacksmithing. But big industry is a catastrophe for nature. The present Shankaracharya of Puri asked during a casual conversation, "Can the West give an answer to have development without destruction of nature ?" It is an important and challenging question. Can modern thinkers in the West give an alternative to development without destroying nature?If we destroy nature, we are destroying ourselves.
A cow's contribution in her lifetime, in monetary terms, is millions of rupees. Centuries ago, land and cows were the measure of one's wealth. The milk was used for drinking, and that which was not drunk was made into yogurt at night. The yogurt that was not consumed the next day was churned and made into buttermilk or butter. The butter was made into ghee, which can be stored for years. Not a drop of milk was wasted.
In those days, the villagers brought the ghee to the city, which was a source of income. Only one person was needed to tend to the cows as they grazed in the pastures. The grazing cows also fertilized the soil with their urine and manure.An Indian cow gives birth to 15–18 calves on an average in her lifetime, which also benefits the owner.Cows that are kept alive can produce milk, and the males can carry loads and pull ploughs.
In the book When Histories Collide, it is said that the milk from a cow gives 480 pounds of digestible dry matter each year. Eating a cow gives only 48 pounds of digestible dry matter. Milking cows is about ten times more productive in one year than eating them, and is hundreds of times more productive over their lifetime. Cows are sound economics and are a good investment.